Air Force develops aircraft maintenance VR/AR training

Departments - Maintenance, Repair, & Overhaul

Aero Precision acquires Kellstrom Defense; GenNx360 continues acquisitions.

March 31, 2020

A specialist laser-scans an F-16C Fighting Falcon at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, to create 3D aircraft models for virtual reality training.
U.S. Air Force photo

The U.S. Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command (AETC) is developing competency-based virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) training for aircraft maintenance.

Virtual training hangars are being built for the classroom and flightline with 3D environments for every airframe in AETC inventory, with AR capabilities and comprehensive instructor tools.

“This effort is tied to our priority to transform the way airmen learn through the aggressive and cost-effective modernization of education and training,” says Masoud Rasti, AETCs chief of force development strategy and technical adviser.

The virtual hangar and flightline, with most common aerospace ground equipment, are aircraft agnostic. The first virtual models of the C-5M Galaxy and C-130J Super Hercules were created for students in the Career Enlisted Aviator Center of Excellence at Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland, Texas, where 2,600 students graduate annually.

The Air Force hopes to share the virtual hangars and aircraft platform environments with other commands, including, Air Mobility, Air Combat, Air Force Reserve, and Air Force Special Operations.


Aero Precision acquires Kellstrom Defense

California Bay Area military aviation aftermarket distributor Aero Precision has acquired Kellstrom Defense, an aftermarket sustainment solutions provider headquartered near Los Angeles.

“Through this acquisition, Aero Precision creates one of the largest privately owned military aftermarket distribution businesses in the industry including repair and overhaul, manufacturing, engineering services, and logistics management,” says Aero Precision President and CEO Darryl Mayhorn.

Aero Precision and Kellstrom Defense serve military aircraft platforms such as the C-130, UH-60, F-15, F-16, and F-18. The combination gives access to the E-8/JSTARS, E-3, F-5, and P-3 legacy aircraft.

Aero Precision has stocking distribution agreements with Honeywell, Collins Aerospace (UTAS-Hamilton Sundstrand), CEF Industries, Parker, Eaton, Champion Aerospace, Crane Aerospace, Marvin Test Solutions, Essex Industries, and WesTest Engineering, supporting more than 60 countries.

Aero Precision Industries is owned by a fund managed by Odyssey Investment Partners.

GenNx360 continues acquisitions

Private equity firm GenNx360 Capital Partners has acquired a majority interest in AeroRepair Corp. headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire. AeroRepair provides wheel and brake maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) and other services to the commercial, corporate, and general aviation industry.

Its sister company, Hemico, provides parts manufacturer approval (PMA) engineering services and designated engineering representative (DER) approved repairs through locations in Manchester, New Hampshire; Atlanta, Georgia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Phoenix, Arizona; Montreal, Quebec; and Calgary, Alberta.

AeroRepair has a workforce of about 200 employees. Current management will continue to operate the business under CEO Daniel Bell.

GenNx360 portfolio company, Precision Aviation Group Inc. (PAG), has purchased World Aviation Corp. (WAC).

WAC specializes in the rewind and repair of rotary and static electrical (air and oil-cooled) generators and motor sub-components. Buying WAC broadens PAG’s suite of services following the recent acquisition of Momentum, a global FAA certified Part 145 repair station specializing in aviation cockpit flat panel displays.

PAG President and CEO David Mast says, “With PAG’s existing location in Vancouver, the addition of WAC’s location in Toronto expands our footprint in Canada and enhances our support to our customer base in the region.”

“WAC brings more than 60 skilled technicians to our team and we are committed to working alongside them to help grow the business further,” says Daphne Dufresne, the GenNx360 Managing Partner who led the transaction.